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Program will instruct on pandemic preparedness

According to Webster’s, the definition of pandemic is occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population. The World Health Organization declared a pandemic of H1N1 swine flu on June 11.

Who knows how much preparation is enough? The important thing is to start preparing. At 10 a.m. Thursday, we will be hosting a pandemic seminar put on by the Mower County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

You are invited to attend this important seminar to inform you and prepare you for the future. Please call the front desk at 433-2370, ext. 0, to reserve a seat. Walk-ins are welcome.

There are reportedly about 60,000 cases and 263 deaths attributed to the H1N1 virus in more than 100 countries. Most hospitalizations in the United States have been among people ages 5 to 25 years. This demographic is troubling as children head back to school in fall, as both the seasonal and the novel types of influenza seem easily transmissible between people. The last pandemic — the Hong Kong flu of 1968 — killed about 1 million people. Ordinary seasonal flu kills 250,000 to 500,000 people each year.

Influenza is constantly evolving, which is why getting the flu one year doesn’t necessarily protect against next year’s flu. If you don’t have an emergency preparedness plan for yourself, your family and even your community, now is a good time to make one. The pandemic declaration prompted many health officials to look ahead to fall and question exactly how much preparation will be enough.

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Upcoming events

Tuesday

• 12:30 p.m., cards and duplicate bridge.

• 6:30 p.m., cards.

• Special program: "Songs of America," a performance-lecture-interactive program by Al Anderson, trombonist and music historian.

Wednesday  

• 9:30 a.m., tai chi classes (newcomers welcome.)

• 12:30 p.m., pinochle and cribbage tournament.

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• 1 p.m., duplicate bridge.

• 1 p.m.-3 p.m., stitching bees bring your handiwork.

Thursday

• 10 a.m., pandemic seminar.

• 10:30 a.m., caregivers support group.

• 1 p.m., bingo.

• 1:30 p.m., open chess.

• 4 p.m., 4-H food review.

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Friday

• 8 a.m., food shelf.

• 9:30 a.m. tai chi.

• Noon, cards.

• 1 p.m., Will Gold Financial.

Sara Schafer is the executive director of the Mower County Senior Center.

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